Fri, Dec

CVHS shoots for better season in 2017


After a productive offseason, the Camp Verde High School boys basketball team is gearing up for a more competitive 2017-18 campaign.

The Cowboys took fifth in the Central Region with a 1-7 record last year, inspiring a bigger push in the offseason to improve, namely in shooting and basketball IQ.

“I’ve really have been happy with the boys, they’ve all spent a lot of time on their own and of course the summer stuff,” head coach Dan Wall said. “We’ve had a fair amount of fall workouts and even spring workouts. The kids have been committed and been showing up and shooting on their own. They’ve done a lot to get better this year.”

A core of players in sophomore guard Abe Gonzalez, senior forward Ryan Loza, senior guard Chase Decker and junior forward Dayton Smith provide the base.

Gonzales returns as a Second Team All-Central Region pick as a freshman who provides explosiveness and athleticism on both ends of the floor. Decker was the starting point guard before being sidelined with injury most of the year.
Cowboys sophomore guard Abe Gonzales rises for a layup during practice on Thursday,  Nov. 9, at Camp Verde Middle School’s gymnasium.
Loza, an Honorable Mention All-Region selection, was a constant presence down low, and Smith will be counted on with more minutes to fill in for older brother Drake, now graduated.

Junior forward Nick Stone is a varsity player expected to get more court time, as well as sophomore guard Teson Parker, senior forward Payton Sarkesian and junior guard Ishmael Hogan, who got varsity minutes at the end of last season.

There are four newcomers to the varsity team: Sophomores Jason Collier, Jordan Littlefield, CJ Bast and junior Dominic Pittman.

In just the third week of practice, conditioning remains a high priority, as for any team, but is especially important for the Cowboys.

“We’ll be getting up and down, we’ll be attacking the rim, definitely pretty fast paced this year,” Wall said.

There is focus on making strikes on less physical aspects of the game, too.

Cowboys 2017 Schedule

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m.
vs. Mayer High School

Nov. 28, 7 p.m.
@ Scottsdale Preparatory Academy

Dec. 1-2
@ Phoenix Country Day School Desert Classic

Dec. 5, 7 p.m.
@ Payson High School

Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.
vs. Bourgade Catholic High School

“Our goal is just to give our very best effort but really work on the mental side this year. Decision making on both ends of the ball, that’s been a huge thing for us to be working through right now,” Wall said. “Consistently taking care of details and trying to focus on every play, just one play at a time.”

The team opens the season at 7 p.m. Nov. 21 at home against 1A Mayer High School. It opens region play at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 5 at home against Glendale Preparatory Academy.

Cowboys Roster



Ryan Loza, forward
Chase Decker, guard
Payton Sarkesian, forward

Dominic Pittman

Ishmael Hogan, guard
Nick Stone, forward
Dayton Smith, forward

Jason Collier
Jordan Littlefield
CJ Bast

Abe Gonzales, guard
Teson Parker, guard


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